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  #1  
Old March 29th, 2012, 08:08 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Default DPReview Sample the New Canon 5DIII: Usable JPG shooting at 3200 ISO!!!

Well, I have been thinking that I should switch back to Nikon to own the 36 MP D800 in the E version without the anti-moiré glass. The DXO review giving it the very best test results of any camera strengthened that idea and if one needs MF size files, then that's probably still true.

However, to my surpass, the 5DII seems to hold it's own in image quality, even to the D800's magic, albeit a small file.

The limits we find in the DSLR's are for practical purposes getting less and the differences minor. However, shooting in low light is still one of the most constant challenged for event, wedding, theater and music performance shoots. Added to that, the dual use of the modern DSLR as a video camera, low light capability if essential.

The new 5D III has little heritage from the 5DII except the general look and the nearly familiar menu. It's DNA comes from a hybrid of the 7D and 1Dx features. So, right now, it's the most economical Canon full frame camera with up to date AF capability.

I looked at the DPReview release of studio pictures with some reticence as I thought that was my past, after all, I'm switching to Nikon. Still I went, as i do to looking at pictures taken at ISO 3200. Why, because in most of the situations, 3200 ISO is the level which will allow pictures of most stage events and even weddings. Since a lot of wedding photographers already use jogs for much of their work, I thought it would be good to look at both jpg and RAW output of studio scenes.

I examined the squares of the Gretag Macbeth chart in the right side of the DPreview setup. That gives me a simple quick look at noise and the colors. The out of the camera jpg looks fine.



Screen shot DPReview With Permission

With the jogs, the Digic 5.5, (3x faster than Digic 5), corrects for aberrations including for the first time, chromatic aberrations, noise and does sharpening too! Actually I was blown away by the beauty of the out of camera jpg images at 3200. This got my attention.

Now the files would be normally processed from RAW, of course, that's what we are used to doing:



Screen shot of DPReview simple RAE processing in ACR





Screen shot DPReview With Permission





Screen shot DPReview With Permission

Noise corrected in CS5



For your own study of the DPReview studio pictures click here


And so my interest was piqued as the jpgs seem to compare favorably with these albeit ACR engine routinely produced basic images, not Capture One and not optimized for my own taste.

Asher
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  #2  
Old March 29th, 2012, 10:03 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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So now, I'm interested in seeing how various parts of the studio conglomeration DPReview always uses would test the new 5DII against the 5DII and its nearest rivals, the Nikon 800 and the Sony A900.




Martini Rosso Label, DPReview With Permission

JPG Out of the camera

Immediately the 5D Mark III cold, dimensionality and finish jumps out at us, way ahead of the jogs produced by the other cameras. It's so good that one could, in a pinch, or perhaps even routinely, (with or without some adjustment of the jpg defaults) use 5D III jpg images right out of the camera for one's work. The RAW pictures are there for those rare images that need special TLC, but for the regular event shooter, stage photographer or wedding pro, this now becomes a viable option. So that to me is revolutionary as it's at 3200 ISO.

Let's look at some more examples: First the watch face




Watch Face, DPReview With Permission

JPG Out of the camera

Here, clearly the 5DIII provides the cleanest image and to my mind bests the D800. Of course, work optimizing any of the images could no doubt produce better results, especially for the new Nikon D800, but this is right out of the camera!


The colored balls of thread are always tricky for cameras at high ISO where noise reduction tends to remove the edges of folded threads.



Balls of Colored Thread with Loops, DPReview With Permission

JPG Out of the camera

Here again, the 5DIII pushes itself ahead of the pack. I don't see that the D800 has any real advantage, but remember this is merely from the jpg. I'd certainly want to look at this from the RAW files too.


DPReview has always included the wire clips as it allows one to look at blow out of highlights.



Paper Clips DPReview With Permission

JPG Out of the camera

Well, the wire seems to be images well. Everything is sharp and with this contrast setting there seems to be no issue with the pictures. Of course, this is hardly a sophisticated test, bur at least it's standardized for the lights used, so comparison seems fair.


Lastly, the face chart. This is quite a beautiful model and could represent how well the camera deals with skin tones and the eyes.



Face Chart, DPReview With Permission

JPG Out of the camera


Once again, these uncorrected jogs, out of the camera put the 5DIII well ahead of the previous 5DII and frankly the Sony doesn't seem to do nearly as well. The Nikon will need Raw to show it's great strengths, for sure.

So, what do you think? Just on this first glimpse of the new Canon 5D Mark III, it could be that the camera is indeed not a slight incremental advance on the 5DIII but, taken with the improved AF of the 1DX and the build of the 7D, this is going to be the workhorse of many if not most professional photographers.

If it does this well for ISO 3200 jogs, I am confident that with use of expert Raw processing, this camera will be a worthy upgrade. For those who have to produce thousands of images at events, weddings, theater and the like, there's a good chance that the out of the camera jogs will be so good that we can save RAW files for the rare problem images that must be reworked.

Asher
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  #3  
Old March 29th, 2012, 10:40 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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One of the most important advances of the modern cameras are the lookup tables for the MFR's lenses to make all the corrections necessary. So, with each new addition of firmware, the JPG's directly out of camera will benefit from the latest lens corrections as well as advanced capabilities for noise reduction, color correction and sharpening. There are now many parameters stored in the cameras processor that can be optimized for our preferences according to how vivid we like our colors and so on. With this camera, Canon delivers images, that, at least in this studio setting with controlled light, provides extremely high quality images straight out of the camera. It's getting to the point that you had better be quite good at processing in your favorite RAW processor to beat what Canon now delivers in its JPG files, and with no effort on our part!

Let me now add warning to myself, especially, these pictures were taken in a studio and not in a poorly lit Church sanctuary or blues night club stage. In real life, the camera will be much more sorely tested. Still, for many events, I'd wager that we'll get perfectly respectable and professional quality pictures from jpgs. But I wouldn't quit using RAW because you never know the challenges of high dynamic range that might appear as you turn the corner and are led to the VIP section to take more images in worse light.

The addition of a fill flash, will again broaden the capability to just shoot jpgs and there's always the RAW to fish out if there's trouble.

Now for my use, I've given up shooting any events for charities, as the cost of then hiring someone else is not much and i'd rather enjoy the event and one extra person recruited might make a donation that would make my time better invested than snapping pics. Besides, it puts bread on someone else's table. So for my own artwork, would I use the JPG images out of the camera? Probably not! I want the capability to work optimizing images and getting the greatest enlargements, so RAW makes more sense for me personally. But, frankly, if one is not enlarging more than 16x20, the differences may not be noticeable anyway in a print!

Asher
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  #4  
Old March 29th, 2012, 10:50 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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I have a message for Canon:

Please give us an option for 16BIT TIFF files, Adobe RGB, out of the camera, (processed as well as the latest JPG files) + RAW. That would be marvelous!!

Asher
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  #5  
Old March 29th, 2012, 11:58 PM
Jerome Marot Jerome Marot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asher Kelman View Post
Once again, these uncorrected jogs, out of the camera put the 5DIII well ahead of the previous 5DII and frankly the Sony doesn't seem to do nearly as well. The Nikon will need Raw to show it's great strengths, for sure.
I would not read too much into these comparisons. The pictures taken at lower iso show that there are differences in sharpness due to slight differences in focus and in-camera sharpening. On each of theses cameras, there are half a dozen settings which can be adjusted as of noise resolution, contrast and sharpening and these settings influence the apparent noise and sharpness of the final result and sometimes even the raw files. The new Canon camera appears to have rather "punchy" contrast and sharpening, which increase the apparent sharpness at the pixel level, but it is probably possible to adjust the other ones to look much closer to it than dpreview did.

In truth, I fail to be impressed by the so-called improvements in noise and high isos. It was already possible to get perfectly usable iso 3200 pictures 3 years ago. True, it implied using raw and an external converter, but that shows that the main progress has been in jpeg engines, not sensor technology.
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Old March 30th, 2012, 12:21 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerome Marot View Post

In truth, I fail to be impressed by the so-called improvements in noise and high isos. It was already possible to get perfectly usable iso 3200 pictures 3 years ago. True, it implied using raw and an external converter, but that shows that the main progress has been in jpeg engines, not sensor technology.
Probably true, but for a lot of work, that means that jpgs are going to be usable out of the camera, of course having tweaked the in camera adjustments to your taste. This is the part that truly revolutionary. It's only impressive if your work falls in to this category of clients needing many images at small magnifications that look immediately impressive.

Now going back to RAW, is it worth going to Nikon with the D800 for larger prints, or could one get as good results with the latest up-ressing algorithms with the Canon 5DIII files?

Asher
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  #7  
Old March 30th, 2012, 09:53 AM
Jerome Marot Jerome Marot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asher Kelman View Post
Probably true, but for a lot of work, that means that jpgs are going to be usable out of the camera, of course having tweaked the in camera adjustments to your taste. This is the part that truly revolutionary. It's only impressive if your work falls in to this category of clients needing many images at small magnifications that look immediately impressive.
I once had an actor friend who needed many images at small magnifications on CD-rom right after the play. I did not find that batch converting from raw was too cumbersome, since I needed a computer to choose the pictures and burn the CD-ROM.

This being said, I could also have told the camera to record raw+jpeg. On my camera, the raw stays at full resolution, and I can choose 6 mpix for the jpeg. I get usable jpegs at small resolution out of the camera and keep the capacity to use the raw files. Noise won't show on reduced resolution jpegs.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Asher Kelman View Post
Now going back to RAW, is it worth going to Nikon with the D800 for larger prints, or could one get as good results with the latest up-ressing algorithms with the Canon 5DIII files?
The increase in linear resolution is only 30%. It is not very much, actually.
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  #8  
Old March 30th, 2012, 12:12 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerome Marot View Post

This being said, I could also have told the camera to record raw+jpeg. On my camera, the raw stays at full resolution, and I can choose 6 mpix for the jpeg. I get usable jpegs at small resolution out of the camera and keep the capacity to use the raw files. Noise won't show on reduced resolution jpegs.
And if one uses a 50mm 1.4 one can essentially shoot in the dark with one of these new cameras! The focus is so good that that's no longer a big worry either. Probably it's these two factors, the maturation of in camera JPG processing and the mating with the 1Dx AF that matures the camera for immediate image delivery that satisfies most uses.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerome Marot View Post

The increase in linear resolution is only 30%. It is not very much, actually.
Well, that's what I wonder about. The Pentax with 40 MP does beat the 5DII in showing fine detail. Let's see how it behaves in practice. The price is 1/3 of the Pentax 646D but can grab images at higher ISO. But for regular work, who wants those giant files?

Asher
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  #9  
Old March 30th, 2012, 12:23 PM
Jerome Marot Jerome Marot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asher Kelman View Post
And if one uses a 50mm 1.4 one can essentially shoot in the dark with one of these new cameras! The focus is so good that that's no longer a big worry either.
No big deal. I have been shooting in the dark for the past three years. And people tell me to get more focussed all the time. Or do you mean something else?

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  #10  
Old March 30th, 2012, 01:14 PM
Michael Nagel Michael Nagel is offline
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Just to support what Jerome wrote above - the same is also doable with APS-C (Pentax K-5 and all other Cameras using the same sensor).

Example (ISO 6400, 50mm, f=2.5, 1/60s, jpeg out of camera):


Best regards,
Michael
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  #11  
Old March 30th, 2012, 01:22 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Now do that with wedding pics at 10,000 ISO!

Asher
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  #12  
Old February 18th, 2013, 05:10 PM
Grant Kernan Grant Kernan is offline
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Asher,
I have both the 12-24 FX Nikkor and the D800.
If I were already into a system, as I am, I would not change.
Nikon users had to wait for several years before the FX sensor was available.
Now Canon users must wait to get a 36 mega pixel camera.
If I was changing back and forth over the years it would have cost a small fortune and for what? Canon will come out with a larger sensor just after you switch. Watch.

I remember comparing 35mm still frames from motion picture with 35mm stills from still cameras. They never compared very well. I suppose that it has to do with 30 frames per second versus 5 or 6 motor driven stills. So it does not surprise me that neither Canon nor Nikon faired well in the movie dept.

As for prints the D800 is very impressive. And always it does depend on the skill level of the printer preparing files. I an in a good position to judge as I print for many camera users.
Grant
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